Wicked Whispers At St Brides by Debbie Young is the third marvellous instalment of the Gemma Lamb Cosy Mystery series. It is equally engaging and amusing as the previous two books.
There is the theme of family. St Brides functions as a family but we also need our own blood family. There is a very inventive way for some to spend time with theirs.
Secrets kept for years, eventually have a way of being unearthed. There are some surprising but very welcome revelations.
Cracking Crime Novel
The Viaduct Killings by Wes Markin is a gripping contemporary crime novel that had me glued from the start. It is the first book in The Yorkshire Murders series and I cannot wait for the subsequent novels.
This is a fast paced crime thriller that gives the reader a roller coaster ride as the crimes mount up. We see a cold case that appears to be linked to present day.
There are cases that some police personnel are haunted by. A case that they just cannot let go of as the guilt threatens to overwhelm them.
Growing up in an area has the advantages of knowing who the criminals are – the naughty ones at school prove to be equally challenging as adults. Spats from classroom days continue into adulthood. Choices always bring consequences – some choose a life of crime, others a life of law enforcement.
A new face from down south brings a fresh perspective.
Glimpses Back In Time
The Automobile Assassination by M.J. Porter is a marvelous historical, cosy crime novel. It is the second book in the Erdington Mysteries but can be read as a stand-alone.
The reader is transported back to 1944 in Birmingham. The war is in its final few months but there are still black outs and rationing to contend with. Black outs are the perfect cover for crimes.
The Automobile Assassination is a play on the automobile association or AA which features at the heart of the novel. In 1944 there were AA boxes dotted throughout Britain to help the motorist in trouble.
Having grown up near Birmingham, I was very familiar with the locations – I used to ride the number 9 bus past the AA headquarters on the Hagley Road on a daily basis in the 1980’s. Likewise the Stew Pony (long gone) is very familiar to me.
Yvonne Child Of The Somme by Sara Rowell is a fascinating glimpse into a bygone era.
The reader becomes immersed into French life during the early part of the twentieth century. The author drops in on mother Marie’s life as a domestic servant in 1900 before following Yvonne’s life from 1901.
Life for women in France at the turn of the century was hard. We learn that a third of all births in Paris in 1900 was to single mothers and yet there was no pressure on the fathers to claim responsibility. Females were at the mercy of males. Domestic servants were at risk of abuse from other male servants or their masters.
The poor were seen as a problem for society that was ruled by the male elite. “The wealthy male elite… saw poor people not as individuals but as a … problem.” There was no poor relief and life was a lottery. Many women could not afford to keep their babies.